SSSD recognizes youth artistic expression in Earthquake Awareness Poster Competition | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport launched its Schools Earthquake Campaign in January 2023, which culminated in a National Schools Earthquake Drill in November 2023 and an Elementary Schools Earthquake Awareness Poster Competition. The competition aimed to raise awareness about earthquake safety measures and encourage creativity among students in depicting this important message.

Representatives from the SSSD visited Sister Borgia Primary School, St. Joseph Primary School, and Hillside Christian Schools Helmich Snijders Campus to present awards to students who placed in the top three. The event was marked with enthusiasm and appreciation for the students' efforts in creating impactful drawings. The students knew prior to the visit that they had placed in the top 3 but did not know the position they placed.

Ms. Kharjenai Joseph from St. Joseph Primary School claimed the first position with her striking artwork. "I felt very special when the school found out that I was placed in the top 3! It was like a dream come true! I worked really hard on my drawing, so knowing that it stood out among all the other amazing entries was just incredible! I was shocked and surprised when the presenter said that I actually won first place. So, being prepared for earthquakes is super important. It's not just about knowing what to do during one, but also being ready before it even happens. And practice earthquake drills with your family and schoolmates so you know exactly what to do when the ground starts shaking! I'm so excited that my drawing will be part of SSSD's awareness campaign! It's like my art is going to help keep people safe, which is so cool! I hope it reminds everyone to be prepared and stay safe during earthquakes. It is so proud to know that my drawing will make a difference!", said Ms. Kharjenai Joseph.

Second place was awarded to Ms. Eranuska Guy from Sister Borgia Primary School. "I felt good about being placed. Always remember the steps of earthquake preparation to avoid getting hurt,” expressed Ms. Eranuska Guy.

Ms. Hind Meziani from Hillside Christian Schools Helmich Snijders Campus placed in third place. "I was very happy and grateful to be placed in the top 3 of this competition. I would like the other students to continue paying attention during the earthquake drills at their schools so that they will know what to do in the event an earthquake comes," Hind Meziani stated.

I commend each student who took part in this competition for their creativity, passion, and dedication to promoting earthquake awareness through art. I encourage them to continue spreading the message of safety at school, at home and in their community,” Olga Mussington-Service, Manager of SSSD stated.

Mrs. Olga Mussington-Service also informed the schools that the winning artwork will be made into a poster and will be distributed during School Safety Week in October 2024. We look forward to presenting Ms. Joseph with the first poster at that time prior to distribution, Mussington-Service added.

In addition to the top three placements, certificates of participation were awarded to all other students who took part in the competition, recognizing their valuable contributions. SSSD is responsible for coordinating and implementation of school safety initiatives on St. Maarten.

2nd place student with grandmother manager sssd and teacher

2nd place student with grandmother, manager sssd and teacher.

3rd place student with parent and rep of the school

3rd place student with parent and rep of the school.